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Eden Prairie puts away No. 1 seed Prior Lake to reach state tournament

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 03/15/19, 8:15PM CDT


The Eagles got 29 points from junior guard Drake Dobbs en route to a 62-45 victory and the Class 4A, Section 2 championship.

Eden Prarie's Ariel Bland went up for a shot against Prior Lake. Photo: COURTNEY DEUTZ • courtney.deutz@startribune.com

Behind a top-level performance from the shortest player on the floor, and with the help of some high-flying highlight-reel plays from a player appropriately named Ariel, Eden Prairie topped host Prior Lake 62-45 in the Class 4A, Section 2 championship game.

The pregame focus Friday centered on Prior Lake’s twin towers — Dawson Garcia and Robert Jones — but the game belonged to Eden Prairie guard Drake Dobbs. The shortest player on the court at 6 feet, Dobbs rose above the others to score a game-high 29 points. They including a run of 11 consecutive points early in the second half, turning Eden Prairie’s two-point deficit into a nine-point advantage.

“Drake, for the last month, has been amazing,” Eden Prairie coach David Flom said. “He’s always had the ability. But now he has the understanding of when to go, when not to, be in complete control.”

Helping Dobbs’ offensive show was the Eden Prairie energy. The Eagles repeatedly beat the Lakers to loose balls and rebounds, earning second and third chances frequently. Bland, a 6-6 leaper, was the frequent benefactor, getting 18 points on an array of dizzying dunks.

First report

Eden Prairie got 29 points from junior guard Drake Dobbs and 18 from forward Ariel Bland to upset host Prior Lake 62-45 in the Class 4A, Section 2 championship game. 

Prior Lake, the No. 1 seed in the section, led 22-21 at halftime, but Eden Prairie, behind Dobbs' fearless drives and Bland's monster dunks, outplayed the Lakers the second half.

Junior Dawson Garcia led Prior Lake with 21 points.

Check back later for more on the game.

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